The genocide lasted decades. Historians said that the world had never seen murder and destruction on such a massive scale. Millions died and those left alive often longed for death. People openly wondered whether the light of Islam would be forever extinguished. But the course of history changed through some of God's most unassuming servants.
In the thirteenth century a tidal wave of devastation swept over the Muslim world. City after city, region after region disintegrated amidst a storm of iron and fire. The death toll was incredible.
Nishapur 1,747,000 dead
Baghdad 1,600,000 dead
Herat 1,600,000 dead
Samarkand 950,000 dead
Merv 700,000 dead
Aleppo 50,000 dead
Balkh completely destroyed
Khiva completely destroyed
Harran completely destroyed
Baghdad was often described as the jewel of the world. For six long weeks this jewel cracked and shattered under the ferocious might of the Tartar hordes. The rivers of the Tigris and Euphrates ran red with blood. Women who had observed modest and chaste lives were savagely assaulted and raped. Five centuries of knowledge accumulated from every literate civilization and contained in the world's largest libraries was reduced to ashes. Many of humanity's greatest centers of education, commerce and culture became nothing more than killing fields.
The architect of this colossal avalanche of death was Genghis Khan. His barbaric legions were triggered into a forty year bloodlust through the folly of the Muslim ruler, Muhammad Khwarizm Shah. Once a powerful and mighty monarch, Khwarizm Shah ordered the execution of Mongol caravans that came to trade within his kingdom. When Genghis Khan sent a delegation of envoys to lodge a formal protest, Khwarizm Shah executed most of them. These two inhuman acts were avenged at the cost of millions of innocent lives.
The Tartar Holocaust began in 1218 CE six centuries after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. It moved westward from Mongolia across Central Asia and the Persian Gulf, southward toward Delhi and northwest to Budapest and Moscow. People as far away as Sweden shuddered at the thought of a Mongol invasion. Muslims were so over-awed by their power that one Mongol could kill over a hundred Muslims and none would dare defend himself. In Arabic a proverb sprang up which meant that if someone tells you the Mongols have suffered a defeat don't believe him.
On the eve of the Mongol invasion, the spiritual state of the Muslim world was pathetic. Corruption, disunity, and materialism were rampant. Khwarizm Shah was not the only example of insufferable leadership. The Abbasid Caliph, Al-Mustasim, was reportedly pleased to hear of the collapse of Khwarizm Shah's empire because of his personal dislike for the monarch. Before the Mongols reached Baghdad, the Caliph's advisors had convinced him to seriously scale back the army. The city was in no way prepared to withstand what lay in store for it.
And yet Islam did not die. Genghis Khan who proclaimed himself as the Scourge of God, who delighted in the rape of conquered women could not exterminate the Muslim ummah. Within a generation the tide had begun to turn in Islam's favour. Baghdad was destroyed by Genghis' grandson Halaku but his great grandson Berek became a Muslim. In fact, Berek withdrew his forces from Halaku's army after the fall of Baghdad which contributed to the first defeat the Mongols suffered against the Muslims during the battle of Ayn Jalut in 1260. The aura of the Mongols' terrifying invincibility was broken. Three years later Berek himself would defeat Halaku's forces in the Caucus region. Those who tried to destroy Islam became its protectors.
The role that ordinary Muslims played in this miraculous recovery cannot be ignored. The entire ummah owes a debt of gratitude to those men and women who never forgot the centrality of their faith or the importance of sharing it with others. Berek or Baraka Khan was introduced to Islam by two unknown merchants. Their efforts eventually led Islam to reach Russia and Eastern Europe.
If the Tartars are regarded as part of Islam's universal brotherhood today, one can thank the efforts of unsung heroes like Jamal Uddeen. The vast Mongol empire was divided amongst the various descendants of Genghis. In certain parts of the empire, the Mongols regarded Muslims as no better than animals while Christianity or Buddhism were expected to become the official state religion. But the sincerity of ordinary believers like Jamal was to outshine all else.
Jamal was a Persian who was travelling through the Middle Kingdom or Chaghatay Khanate known for its animosity toward Muslims. With his small band of travellers he mistakenly went through the game preserves of the Mongol Prince Tuqluq. Jamal was arrested and brought before Tuqluq. In his anger the prince told Jamal that a dog was worth more than a Persian. Jamal replied, "Yes. If we did not have the true faith, we would indeed be worse than dogs." Tuqluq was struck by the reply. He inquired what Jamal meant by the true faith. When Jamal explained the message of Islam Tuqluq was convinced. He asked Jamal for some time to unite the fractured Middle Kingdom and then he would proclaim his faith. Jamal returned home and later fell ill. As he was dying, he instructed his son Rasheed to remind the prince of his promise when he became king. When Tuqluq ascended the throne Rasheed set out to meet him. An ordinary person had little access to royalty and after many efforts Rasheed risked his life to enact a plan. He called out the adhan at fajr nearby the royal compound. He was brought before the king and there he invited him to fulfill his promise. On that very morning Tuqluq Timur Khan, king of the unified Middle Kingdom, became a Muslim.
Death and destruction are ravaging Baghdad once more. The innocent victims of this injustice must not be forgotten. We owe it to them to follow in the footsteps of the Last Prophet, in the footsteps of ordinary believers like Jamal and Rasheed Uddeen and share Islam with each and every human being. The beauty of our character and our sincere conduct need to be the beacons that attract those around us to this Divinely prescribed system of life. True it is Allah alone who guides; it is also true that Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves. For us to do anything less would be to disgrace those who are dying before our very eyes.
- Saviours of the Islamic Spirit, Volume 1, by Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi
- History of Islam, Volume 2, by Masudul Hasan
- A Short History of the Saracens, by Amir Ali
know the cause for the sufferings and Allah has the power to change it but all we have to do is make intension and work on Allah's command. Allah is the most merciful
the author must have MONGOLS and Chingiz khan clearly explained in the article!
Assalamu Alaykum Wa Rahma. I beg to Allah Ta'ala to increase the number of brothers like you, who write such inspiring words. Surely, your huge reward is with Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala. May He increase your capabilities manifold times, Ameen.
Peace and blessings of Allah be upon our dear and dear prophet and messenger Muhammad Mustafa, salle Allahu alayhi wa sallam.
go through is nothing compared to the believers who came
before us. That is why the Quaran specifically mentions them.
They were the first to carry the message often with a severe
price. They had such iman that they knew that to follow this
path meant a death most painful, yet they still carried on and
did not waiver. We have to do the same and join together and
expose those who claim to believe, yet they kill and say it is in
the name of Allah, when it is not only a lie, but a blasphemous
and horrific act that is forbidden in the Quaran. It is time to
educate the ignorant and not preach hate and call it Islam. I
weep when I see people killed "in the name of God" when God
would never ask such a thing. This life is a test, a test to see if
you can stay on the path, even when sometimes it's hard to see
it. Even when sometimes it feels like the whole world would like
nothing better than to kill you, just be thankful that you were
given this knowledge and try to share it with others without
cramming it down their throats.
I am proud to be a tatar but I am even more proud that I am a muslim and have ability to practice my religion today. SubhanAllah the price our ancestors payed, saving this religion for us is very high.
Remember Imam Ali's statement:
"Inna Allah yansuru lumma ladila wa in kanat karifa wa yahzimo lumma da'lima wa in kanat mu'mina"
Allah grants victory to just nations even if they are disbelievers & punishes unjust nations even if they are believers.
Justice is a public moral value & has an effect on everyone, belief is a personal moral value & only benefits the individual.
Please read surat Almumtahana in the Quran to see for yourself that we Muslims must be fair & just in our dealings with believers and non believers. Justice is central to Islam. It is the core message of our faith. We must lead the world when it talk about equality, justice and peace. We must walk the walk!!!
"When the SUNNAH dies out expect affliction!"
And the once "friend" of the U.S the Iraqi government under Sadam Husein are now apart of that GENOCIDAL HISTORY OF IRAQ! Rape by the whiteman and pilliging is the order of the day in IRAQ once AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!
JazakAllah khair for this well written history of the Ummah that I didn't know about.
It gives us hope in the carnage infested Muslim lands we see, and within our hearts aswell.
I esp. like the ending about changing our own conditions. This entire article brought tears to my eyes. May Allah guide me, you, and all Muslims. Ameen.
SITUATION VERY DEPRESSING.